Older and Younger People

I’m reading through Asperger Syndrome and Alcohol: Drinking to Cope?, by Matthew Tinsley and Sarah Hendrickx. It’s a short book, but I may take a while to get through it. I just read a chapter last night, primarily because it was Saturday night and I was in no mood for homework, so I did some pleasure reading. And I always like to read people’s stories.

I really identified with this quote:

“It is not uncommon for those with AS to find the company of their peers difficult, preferring to mix with those older or younger than themselves. This may be because there are different dynamics in such relationships than in peer age friendships. Older friends may be more tolerant of a younger person or appreciate the high level of knowledge that a person with AS may have on certain topics. They may be less concerned with being ‘cool’ and be more likely to take the person for who he or she is. A younger friend may look up to the person with AS and allow that person to be the dominant one in the relationship–possibly for the first time in his or her life. If you have experienced many years of bullying and exclusion from social activities, the opportunity to be the one looked up to is to be relished” (45).

I identify with this because I’ve always found older people and kids to be more accepting of me than people my own age. Some years, virtually the only socialization I had was with older people and younger people, since I worked with them in volunteer capacities.

But this isn’t exactly an absolute. As I get older, I find that old people are becoming more like my peers. In academia, for example, there are older people who are accepting of a young man like me. But there are also older people who want to determine if I’m cool–if I am quality material according to certain academic standards. Also, the things that people may have tolerated when I was younger (e.g., shyness) are not as tolerated as I get older. The more I age, the more it seems as if everyone above 20 is my peer.

I hope that makes sense.

About jamesbradfordpate

My name is James Pate. This blog is about my journey. I read books. I watch movies and TV shows. I go to church. I try to find meaning. And, when I can’t do that, I just talk about stuff that I find interesting. I have degrees in fields of religious studies. I have an M.Phil. in the History of Biblical Interpretation from Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio. I also have an M.A. in Hebrew Bible from Jewish Theological Seminary, an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School, and a B.A. from DePauw University.
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2 Responses to Older and Younger People

  1. Jay Jay says:

    Thanks for this reference! I`m getting my college librarian to order a copy.


  2. James Pate says:

    No problem, Jay Jay. Hope you find it helpful!


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